Home  |  Contact Us  |  @GiantsBlogger Twitter  |  Giants Blog Instagram  |  GBB Facebook 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Battles Still Unsettled

We're a little over 1/3 of the way through Cactus League action, and the few spring battles that are taking place this spring are no clearer today than they were at the start of spring training.

The biggest battle going on in Giants camp this spring is the battle for the fifth starters spot. Madison Bumgarner was considered the favorite coming into camp, as he's been one of the most dominating starers in the minor leagues over the previous 2 season, and came up to the big leagues and really impressed in a brief stint at the end of last season. However, Bumgarner hasn't been quite as impressive this spring as the Giants were hoping, and hasn't really run away with the job. The main concern with Bumgarner is his velocity, which is down significantly from where it was at in during the majority of the 2009 season. Before Bumgarner was called up to the Giants last year his heater was consistently clocked between 92-95 mph. But he was down around 90 mph at the end of the year with the Giants, and has dropped even more this spring. He's been around 87-88 mph so far, and isn't having the success he's used to. His struggles this spring have prompted the Giants to discuss possibly starting him off in Fresno to begin the year.

Todd Wellemeyer was considered the favorite to get the job if Bumgarner indeed starts the year in Fresno, but Kevin Pucetas has really emerged as a strong candidate as well. Kevin Pucetas posted his third consecutive scoreless outing Saturday, throwing 3 perfect innings and striking out a batter in his second start of the spring. Pucetas has allowed just 3 hits in his 7 shutout innings this spring and hasn't yet walked a batter. Wellemeyer has thrown pretty well too, allowing just 2 earned runs and 1 walk through his 10 innings this spring. Both guys have done more to earn the fifth spot than MadBum, but there is still plenty of spring baseball left.

The battle for the remaining bullpen spots is a little tough to sort out at this point as well. The Giants essentially have 4 guys who are basically guaranteed spots and those 4 are Brian Wilson, Jeremy Affeldt, Brandon Medders and Sergio Romo. I'd have to say that 24 year-old flame-throwing lefty Dan Runzler is pretty much a lock as well since he's looked just as good this spring as he did with the Giants last September. With the Giants likely leaning towards carrying 12 pitchers on their opening day roster, that would leave space for 2 more relievers to make the team. I really like the way Alex Hinshaw and Henry Sosa (who we've mentioned a few times here this spring) are throwing, but both of those guys do have some control issues. Guillermo Mota has also done just about all he can so far to earn himself a spot, and I do think he's got a slight upper hand on the rest of the bunch because he's a veteran, and the Giants are trotting out a real young pitching staff. Adding Mota and Sosa would give the Giants the most potent bullpen, and would really stockpile them with live arms that throw the ball in the mid to high 90's. I just don't think the Giants are ready to allow Sosa to make that leap all the way up to the big leagues. Injury issues have kept him from pitching above AA ball, and they may want to start him out in Fresno.

If the Giants intend on keeping him the rotation, then I absolutely agree with starting him in Fresno and I don't mind him starting in Fresno as a reliever either, but he's going to be 25 this summer, and I don't think the Giants should be easing him along any longer. If the season started today, the last 2 spots would go to Hinshaw and Mota, but this is definitely a situation, like the fifth starters spot, to continue monitoring throughout the spring.

Giants 2010 Roster Preview/Predictions Post Coming Next!!!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Al said…

    Interesting post, and time will tell if the Giants' team puts in the effort to glean the ultimate award in October.

  • At 4:09 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Bumgarner's curious loss of velocity will probably land him in Fresno, and Wellemeyer will have the edge over Pucetas because Bochy likes veterans, unless Pucetas clearly outpitches Wellemeyer. In the bullpen, I don't see Hinshaw there because he walks too many batters (32 in 52.1 innings in Fresno) although he had 72 K's. Bochy will probably want someone who can throw multiple innings. I'd rather see Sosa than Joe Martinez.

  • At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Cali Jones said…

    I agree with Al, you give really good insight and your very objective and don't make excuses for the Giants.

    Posey is tearing it up so I think they are going to have to find a spot for him. I wish the Giants would have just gave Posey the catchers spot and used that 4.5 million on someone else.

  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger King of Cali said…

    I wanted Bumgarner to win the fifth spot in the rotation. It was his spot to lose, but I would say it's likely he will start in triple A. I actually did my last post on this as well. Wellemeyer is pitching good right now, so he's likely to be the one to win the job.

    ~King of Cali
    All The Latest SF Giants Rumors

  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Rich said…

    Good post Trevor. With regard to the rotation, I think it makes sense the first month of the season to go with Wellemeyer. As usual, the schedule is lopsided with off days early in the season; and during that time the Giants often will not need a fifth starter. Let the veteran deal with the uneven schedule, and make sure the prospects get their steady work. Something unforeseen is almost sure to occur, and when it does you've got options. Bumgarner, Pucetas, Sosa, and Martinez....A lot of depth. I think it's a good situation to be in.

  • At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i truly adore your posting choice, very remarkable,
    don't quit as well as keep writing considering the fact that it just simply that is worth to look through it.
    excited to see even more of your current articles, goodbye!

  • At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    bless you, useful web page
    ways to write blog posts and smash in visitors:


Post a Comment

<< Home